Wade Newton said, "You can mandate supply, but you cannot mandate demand." Apparently he has not been paying attention. This ship sailed with the Affordable Care Act. If we can be forced to purchase insurance policies with coverage that we don't want or need, then what prevents the government from doing that with cars?
I'm not terribly conversant with the history of CARB and its relationship to the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight, but I know that both of those cars started in Japan, and then were brought over to the U.S. At the time, I don't believe CARB had a program for partial ZEVs (PZEVs), only for pure electric cars, which means that neither of those vehicles would have qualified for credit. To be sure, I called Honda, and spokesman Chris Martin told us that the Insight was not a product of California legislation. "We marketed it nationwide," he said. "If it was simply a means to achieve a credit, we more than likely would have marketed it only in California."
"You can mandate supply, but you cannot mandate demand." They are threatening to fine manufacturers if they can't convince customers to buy ZEVs. Commenters have suggested that it could drive manufacturers to sell at a loss or leave the California market. In a story about the Tesla "Gigafactory," it was indicated that the result would be a "mass market" vehicle with a price tag in the $30-$40k range. I would really like to pay less than that for my next car. If I can get one with an ICE for less, then that's what I'll buy.
Also, range limits are real. My commute is 5 miles one way; very doable with an EV. However, my work takes me throughout the DC metro area and throughout the Mid-Altantic at times. Personally, I live in suburban DC and my family is in suburban Philly. Do they really think that I'm going to buy a car that forces me to make a stopover to recharge? The other "green" alternative would be to spend hours longer riding Metro to Union Station, Amtrack to 30th St. Station and then the Paoli Local to the burbs, where I would need a ride to my destination. Not happening.
Bunter, you're right that the poor aren't getting much from this at the moment. The logic behind it is to drive production volume up, so that automakers can benefit from economies of scale, and ultimately sell electric cars to the masses. The problem is that history tells us that it's difficult to put EVs on such a schedule.
Print money, drive inflation, everybody pays more, govt does better(ish). Poor and middle class hardest hit.
Legislate to drive up energy costs. Blame "Big Oil". Poor and middle class hardest hit.
Funny how the chaps claiming to be for "the little guy" often pursue policies that cost the poor the most (but are not easily traceable to the politician like a per se tax is). Are they stupid, cynical or all of the above (I pick all of...).
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